Leonoor Elisabeth Zuiderveen Borgesius
My PhD project has the working title 'Engineering Emptiness: the Temporalities of Land Reclamation Practices in the Netherlands.' It deals with a large-scale modernist land reclamation scheme (the engineering practice of creating land from sea- and fresh water) 'Zuiderzee Werken' that was designed and carried out between ca. 1880 and 1980. I am interested in the geographical and ecological design of those new lands, particularly when it comes to the imagery of new land as 'empty space' without cultural or natural histories. I am interested in the practices of knowledge production that preceded the construction of these large engineering works, its visual representations in the form of maps, and the ways in which the notion of empty, uninhabited space, connects overseas imperial imageries to practices of internal colonisation and land acquisition.
I have a research master in Historical Studies from Radboud University Nijmegen (the Netherlands). My main fields of interests are the Environmental Humanities, History of Concepts and Ideas and Science and Technology Studies.
For the firs year of my PhD I was based at the Center for Advanced Study (Senter for grunnforskning, CAS) as a fellow on the project In Sync: How Synchronization and Mediation Produce Collective Times, Then and Now.
My project is developed within the frame of the Toppforsk-project LIFETIMES: a Natural History of the Present, that deals with the entanglement of scales of life and scales of time in the Anthropocene.
Photo credit: Camilla Kottum Elmar